Friday, January 04, 2008

resolution on portable dog homes

Our dog, Lillie, made a New Year’s Resolution to start sleeping in a doggie bed this year, and no longer spend each night in a “portable dog home,” as the manufacturers of the crate advertise it. We have been trying to get her to sleep outside the crate for a while, because it sat in front of the closet, restricting access to our clothing and threatening the wellbeing of our toes. But each time we’d tried, she wandered and paced the room, and chewed things to relieve her anxiety. Poor dog, she needed the safety of her crate (dogs and their ancestors have lived in small dens for millennia; this is a modern equivalent). Lillie also practiced sleeping outside of a crate at “Noah’s Ark,” where she boarded when we traveled. She ate a whole package of friendship bread there, and a pair of glasses, a leather motorcycle cap and almost broke an heirloom cookie jar.

Lillie didn’t “resolve” to sleep outside the crate, she just did it. We (and the patient folks at Noah’s Ark) kept trying, and she finally grew out of it. The same is true for me: when I have given up bad habits, it was less because I resolved to do so, and more because I grew out of them. All of my habits have served me at one time or another; they were important to my survival at some point. Years later, they may no longer provide that benefit-—they may even be “bad” for me-—so I seek more adaptive, better habits. Resolutions can make me more aware of my behavior, and they can give me the practice I need to someday, maybe, grow out of that bad habit that I no longer need.

Thus do I resolve to eat better in 2008, and beyond.


At 10:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

this story reminded me of my sister's dog, a cute little pug who can't be home alone without his dog house because he'll tear everything to bits. i don't know what his deal is. i wish you could share your experience and some tips with my sister and her husband...maybe they could get their dog to the point where he doesn't need to be kept in the kennel for fear of returning to a completely destroyed house and a dog whose belly is full of the house's former contents.


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